Friday, 22 November 2013
I had a friend back in secondary school and she had to be the most "foul mouthed" person I'd ever met. During one of her many fights with the boys in our class, she told her sparring partner that "it would have been better if the boy had come out as his mother's monthly menstrual flow instead of him defiling the environment with his face". The poor boy was a mental wreck that day and never got into any verbal exchange with my lovely friend and so did the boys in the class-they all avoided the undisputed foul mouthed fiend like a plague. Ironically, the lady in question was a beautiful lady. On a normal day, you would never imagine she could hurt a fly but appearance indeed could be deceptive. Her words cut like a knife and she was never afraid to use them at will-a sharp mouth wench she was. I dare say given the chance she could stir nations to war with her tongue. If she could send able bodied boys running for cover with mere words imagine what would happen if her words were gentle and warm? Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”. It is a beautiful experience when you meet people that use words to build up, encourage and entertain. It’s the second in the series of the PHAT DIARIES BY VICTORIA AGHUNOPUA OTONO one thing about village girls that just never seizes to amaze me, their responses to strangers when they say hello. na wa ooo chei, its either the hello is returned with an uncontrollable laughter or a fight hahahah e.g what is it na! is it by force kwa! lemme o! lemme me! hahahahah. one major characteristics of black eye pencil in the village is its versatility i mean the black lips, thick and haphazardly drawn eye brow that looks like the devil just had a makeover ( abeg bros D i no sey na jeje u sit don, na jez example i dey sight hahah) and the by force beauty spots, well spotted that even the flying bird will recognize it. Any way all the hot village champions clap for ya sef una too much. hmmm my pipo sey "one good turn deserves another" but is it all good that is paid with good? what came between the old man and young man 2years later? hmmm the clash of the titan and the gods, here comes iheoma the Helen of ugbuefi kingdom. hmmmmm! it was an unusual day at the stream, it seemed like people were not interested in having their usual play with nature. Relax, that was what is looked like from afar. As iheoma, the shining diamond, the purity of the river and the eyes of gods approached in her royal cuteness, children ran out from the stream to hug her. she was exceptional, she possessed a voice that calmed Amadioha whenever he wanted to strike, a voice that brought Sango the god of thunder to ugbuefi land to cool his anger, the voice that brought Yemoja out of the sea to pick shells. iheoma was the voice Munaego the goddess of wealth and the most beautiful woman that lived. she was a shadow.(hmmm, i painted a picture of a beautiful shadow, an impossible reflection my imagination created! yes, Munaego can only be seen amongst shadows). here comes the big BUT iheoma lived with a curse that revealed that, she must never marry the man that she loved, she will have kids, she will struggle, she will help people but she won't live long. who wants to know how Munaego became a shadow? Any way, the story of iheoma is my favorite bedtime story hahahahhahha, auchh!! telling you that story will be a little distraction from my PHAT DAIRIES. "abeg commot for road, shey na bcos u dey drive dis yeye moto na him make u wan commot our ear wit ur pimpim' chei why are people so aggressive? my people, sometimes don't blame some people for their quick temper because if you were given a minute to wear their shoes, hmmmm! (you don't no the gravity and the weight of pain a lot of people are passing through as a result of the ironies of life) the young man driving the so called 'yeye moto' was only using his horn to create an awareness that a car was coming. hmmmm people sha! "baba!baba! it's me the young man you met at the pub 2 years" this world is spherical, what goes around comes around, no matter how long it takes, people will always meet again. the only factor that might delay is time, what separates us is distance and what ends our existence is death. baba is very excited to meet an old friend that spiced up his sense of taste with that well made, garnished snail with pepper pomo featuring shots of kaikai. me wey like beta tin like shepele, abeg o, if na u wey meet person wey do you beta for past, shey u no go like make dat kain tape play again? (hahahhaha, na confirm Naija mentality b dat) Sharp baba! he couldn't even wait for further introductions, he helped him self into the car and sat down like a chief.(baba oni baba...pomo tins, snail tins, kaikai tins, chilling with old friend hahhahah) hmmm baba had something on his mind. when you see a man with papas cap, big googles and pipe in his mouth seated in front of car with his arm resting on the window and a young fresh man in clean suit driving, hmmmmm see gobe oooo!!!! as they drove, the young man kept on gisting baba about the city and the new development especially on the side of the government who have refused to change their tattoos of corruption, embezzlement and bribery. As they drove slowly because of the bad road, due to the negligence on the part of those in power, they never knew they were driving into a surprise. what happened? NEXT ON PHAT DAIRIES...
Once again it’s that time of the year!! Christmas is in the air and the streets are already lit with festive lights. Dublin city centre is agog with early shoppers jostling to get good bargains and probably a quick dig into that endless list of "Santa's list". I didn't have a shopping or to do list rather I was aimlessly gazing through every brightly lit window shop until a particular window dressing stopped me in my tracks. It had got to be the most glitter studded shoe I'd ever seen! I imagined myself in "dem killer heels" and was in the store before I could control myself. Seriously, I was practically drooling over "dem" heels until the price tags caused my saliva glands to malfunction. It was way out of my price range but what the heck its Christmas-A TIME TO SPLURGE. It was the perfect party shoe but I wasn't much of a "parry person". Not that I don’t like parties but the idea of walking alone into a room filled with mostly strange faces sometimes churns my stomach. It would be awkward seating at a table among strangers whom you have absolutely nothing in common with and nothing to *gist* about. Sigh!! So how does a single girl survive the party filled Christmas season without losing her dignity? I was discussing online dating sites with a couple of friends the other day and was practically in stitches at the responses I got from these marvelous ladies. Seriously!! Their answers ranged from online dating sites are for "lemmos", to its unchristian like" and “all manner of creeps troll the internet”. I agree all manner of "creeps" troll the internet but I am on the internet as well and I'm no creep. The world as we know it has advanced into a global village as a result of the WORLD WIDE WEB. Political revolutions are being spurred on the internet and religious leaders have embraced newer media platforms so what's wrong if love is borne via a media platform? Truth is the internet could be a dangerous platform to form a love relationship because "ANYONE COULD BE ANYBODY" on the internet. It allows the creation of a false reality (have you noticed how everyone seemed to be living the good life on FB?). I have met my fair share of "creeps on the internet but I have also made some great friendship through this platform (I will be gisting you about that in my next post). Like my good friend said “we have to meet people somehow” and since the world has moved online, there might be opportunities there as well but BE CAREFUL .Moreover because a dating site says it Christian does not make the people you meet there "holy angels" and this line of thought applies to every other platform that you meet people through. I know loneliness is hard to deal with especially during the yuletide seasons but it’s be better to be safe than sorry. So whatever platform you seek to enjoy the season just BE CAREFUL. p.s I hope my "killer shoes" don't end up abandoned in the closet with others but find its way to rock some parties this season...SO HELP ME GOD
Thursday, 21 November 2013
I hate going to the hospital! Hospitals are meant for the lame, wounded, broken and weak. None of those labels applies to "macho me". I am thankfully hale and hearty. However despite my best intentions, I find myself sometimes seeking medical attention not necessarily because I'm ill but to check that everything is in tip top shape, don't want any nasty surprises down the lane. If I can visit a physician to prevent unwanted and undesirable ailments albeit unseen or probably showing symptoms, then it stands to reason that I should visit a relationship clinic for relational issues. We live in a broken world with people carrying lots of emotional garbage around despite the many attempts to cover up. That is why there are definitely bound to be fireworks despite their better intentions when a man and woman come together in a relationship and it takes concerted efforts by both parties to make it work. Most couple don’t set out to hurt each other but they eventually do. Deny as much as you can but we sometimes need external help especially from knowledgeable professionals to make this “relationship project” work. I can treat a common cold with over the counter medication but I cannot carry out surgery on myself but require the services of registered surgeon that specialises on that ailment. Does that make me less "macho"? I DON'T THINK SO! I'd rather reach out for help than self medicate and die in pain. Many people have been hurt prior to marriage and many are being hurt in marriage. For some it’s a continuous cycle of pain that is unfortunately being transferred on the children. These unhealthy trends if left unchecked will affect even generations yet unborn. Some of us don’t even know how to show love or give love (guilty as charged!). That’s where DY relationship clinic comes in. “DY Relationship Clinic (DYRC) creates a platform for members to share and celebrate the successes in their relationships to encourage and uplift other members at difficult times” I met DYRC founders Deji and Yemi Adenuga over seven years ago (Yemi is one of the reasons I’m a size 18...she makes a mean efo riro and Uncle Deji can pound yam fit for a king). I love and admire the honesty and friendship they share as a couple and I have seen this dynamism in their family life carried into every project they undertake (did I say, they’ve got the Midas touch as well? They sure do). I would say they are each other’s best cheer leader; each encouraging and supporting the other not intimidated or challenged by the other’s success. With over twenty years of marital experience, this couple definitely know what the relationship journey entails. So come December 13th 2013, the DYRC is cordially inviting you to its Christmas dinner and seminar. THEME: "THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE" VENUE: HERITAGE KITCHEN, UNIT 61 MILLHILL IND. ESTATES. LUCAN, DUBLIN IRELAND. TIME: 6:00PM PROMPT PARTICIPATION FEE: SINGLE €30:00/ COUPLE €50:00. Seriously the more informed we are on how to handle relational issues the less divorce we would have. Remember, happy couple makes a happy family and a happy family makes a happy society. Now how and where do I get a man to take me to the dinner? Chei! The dilemma of a single girl!!!
I've got "crazy" friends that drive me nuts!! From my early age I seem to have this knack for rolling with the Brady bunch. Crazy friends I can manage but what do you do if the Craziest of them all is your family member? The apple does not fall far from the apple tree they say..lol. well, my baby sister takes the ace in CRAZY. Her middle name Aghunopua in my local Afemai dialect means "pure heart" and she spews goodness mixed with lyrical madness. from the stables of the self acclaimed MAMALET-whatever that means-Its the PHAT DIARIES.
first episode of PHAT DAIRIES!!! it all started on the first day of February 1989. while some were born on a platter of gold, some with a silver spoon, some into the struggles and hardship of life, my own started in black and white. hahhaa! yea black and white sounds like an old tv, old picture or some kinda graphic but it's actually the nicknames my parents were called because of their skin colors. mum was fair and dad was a dark, tall and handsome guy.(old age is telling though lolz). hmmm how did the story begin? lets go back to 1989. abeg my people, wetin concern ogogoro with poor man headache? A young man walked into a pub on the first day of February, an introduction into a month of love but his was kicked off with a story of heart break and disappointment. it was a cool evening on the streets of fatia fayemi an area very close to the popular ojuelegba under bridge. This young man walked into the pub sober with his heads down dragging his feet like his legs were so heavy, CHAI!! poor shoes, an innocent of victim of the frustration of man. "madam gimme one shot of kai kai" that was the first word that came out of his dry lips. its was unusual to have such costumer at Mama Shade's ever bubbling pub, as a result of this, people were astonished at his sight, there and then he became the center of attraction. un gingered, he sipped his shot of kai kai with his point finger in his mouth, stuck between his teeth, eyes rolling as he looked into the air shaking his head in regrets. one major characteristic of old men, 'dey no dey ever mind dem business' hmmm na lie i talk? ' my son while are you so sad? you look like the whole world is on top of your head. hmmm papa i know you care, but do you know if this young man understands your heavy grammar? lets find out. the young man had already felt the aura that someone was in front of him, the figure had blocked the little light that was around him and the voice hit his heart making it beat fastest like the race was almost over. slowly, he brought down his head to see the person who cared so much about him. he said " she's a sickle cell, we can never be, it can never work, 5 years of endless pleasure, she hid that dark secret, what happens when AS and SS meet? will i let innocent kids suffer because of lust? the old man cleared his throat and smiled, he said " standing at the peak of a mountain, what will you do? relieved at the thought, the young man ordered for more shots of kaikiai, this time the kaikai came with a sumptuous plate of well garnished snail with some pepper pomo ( i could ask for more lols). lost in the sweetness of their exciting refreshment they laughed so hard and filled the air with their funtastic discussion which only them understood, chei the effects of kaikai. one thing about Nigerians who meet themselves and discover they speak the same language, they automatically become brothers. After so much fun together, discussing about women ( where two or three men are gathered, abeg wetin be main gist apart from money and drink? na yash na lol). the young man tips the old man for making his evening and relieving his pain before he left. two years later, they meet again. this time, the titan meets the gods. who will win? PHAT DAIIRES. written by victoria Agunupua Otono aka Mamalet...
Monday, 18 November 2013
She sat cross legged in front of the television flipping through the channels with a remote. It’s the second week in November but the screens were already inundated with Christmas adverts. "The commercialization of Christmas, I can never understand", she muttered as she gently rose to her feet to fix her second cup of coffee. She needed the caffeine to get through the drudgery of the day. Her flat mate was away on holidays so she had the whole apartment to herself. It was a much appreciated silence as her flatmate could be very loud and noisy but she missed her sporadic burst of laughter and unpredictable nature. For a brief moment, she considered going over to her Nanna's for the weekend but she killed that thought before it could take hold in her mind. Nana had been putting pressure on her to get married; more so since her younger sister got engaged and was set to marry before the New Year. She didn’t think she could be nice to the seventy two year old woman today, she didn't think she could be nice to anybody today! She wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. She wanted to open her mouth and give vent to the frustration she was feeling inside. She just had this huge urge to cry. She wanted to simply cry! She was so ALONE. The sudden sound of the telephone ringing startled her . It was her Nanna! The sprit old woman had a way of showing up anytime she felt despondent. "Hello honey, are you ok? I just had this irrepressible urge to call you. Is everything ok baby? her familiar raspy voice continued leaving no room for her grand daughter to answer. "I am fine now", the young lady answered and indeed she was. Her Nanna had that effect on her. Her voice was cool, comforting and welcoming.In as much as she was avoiding the old lady, her grandma was a constant yet gentle reminder that she was not really alone and that brought an elusive smile to her face. One of the challenges of living abroad is that constant feeling of loneliness. Far from home and everything familiar I would most times long for my brothers and even the thought of seeing good old chief (my dad) sounded like a good idea...Lol. I had made new friends in my new home, but it never seemed enough! I had settled in my local church but that didn’t seem to fill that nagging void either. It took years of unnecessary tears and self pity before I learnt that because I was feeling alone didn’t mean I was alone. That nagging void I felt at the pit of my stomach could be filled but not with food as I’d been doing but with the lovely relationships I had around me, waiting to be reaped from. I had to consciously break through clouded vision and embrace the relationships around me. God wants us to reap from the lovely relationship He’d mapped for us-A LOVELY RELATIONSHIP IN HIS PRESENCE. You don’t have to feel alone or disconnected anymore. I remember the statement made by the late Pastor Teddy parker who committed suicide after telling his congregation that he “felt” God was not listening to him. Feelings most time don’t mean real! They could be as erratic and sometimes unpredictable as the weather-cool now and warm the next!(talk about a tumulteous Irish weather) "Don't equate the presence of God with a good mood. God is near whether you are happy or not" Max Lucado. God is not erratic. He says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb 31:6. It’s not about how you feel, ITS WHAT THE WORD SAYS. Don’t let your circumstances or feelings distract you from the TRUTH, YOU ARE LOVED AND NEVER ALONE.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
I was deeply pained when I read about a pastor that committed suicide a few days after he told his congregation that God was not hearing him. Rev.teddy Parker, a father of two, shot himself in the head with his own gun after Sunday service at Bible Mount Zion Baptist Church Georgia while his family and congregation were still at his church waiting for him for the next service. Reports say He'd told his congregation that he no longer felt a connection with God."I try to pray but I don’t feel like God is hearing me,” Parker said to his congregation “I try to serve but I don’t feel like God is using me. And there are times in your life when God purposely withdraws from you, he doesn’t withdraw for the sake of leaving you but he withdraws so you can grow and mature.. That sounded to me like a desperate plea for help and not a sermon. A lot of comments I have read on Parker's unfortunate demise has been quite unkind given his position as a pastor. Many wonder why "a man of God would commit such a dastardly act as suicide". He is a man of God nonetheless A MAN. The poor man may have had issues that he could not share with friends lest he be labelled "O YE MAN OF LITTLE FAITH". His family had high expectations of him, the congregation depended on him to have it all together and God knows what other matters the poor man had looming over his head that drove him to make such a "deadly decision". Let’s leave the theoretic of Christianity out of this discourse for a moment and be real-FOR ONCE! Many Christians find it difficult to admit being overwhelmed by some of life’s many challenges and put up a facade built on lies. We are afraid to be real to ourselves and to others. Christian admitting challenges is perceived as a sign of Weakness. “What would people say?” we wonder. So we keep up the pretence. 2Kings 4 recalls the story of the widow’s oil and God’s divine provision. She’d lost her husband and her 2 sons were about to be taken away, talk about a whooper-of-a –problem. Did she keep quiet? No! Did she seek out help? Yes! Was her problem solved? Yes- but not till she shared her problems. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah was wallowing in self pity and depression until God appeared to him and offered him a reprieve from his “problems”. Sometimes talking about your problems and crying for help is not a sign of weakness but STRENTH. 2Cor 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Next time you feel overwhelmed or burdened, don’t hold it in SPEAK OUT and you’ll be better off after. P.S. Be mindful of who you share your problems with. Seek professional help if you have to.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
I'll be sharing a post from one of my favourite writers on a devotional topic close to my heart. Truth is, when it comes to loving others and showing affection, I'm down right scared of being hurt and would shy away from being vulnerable with another person. I have been hurt so many times not unlike many people but for some recovering from past hurt takes longer than most....so be kind in judging me. However, I've dared to open up to others again by giving the best of myself to the people around me and causes I believe in and that my friend is WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF MY LOVE and a guaranteed fast track to Healing and a joy-filled living. Like I tell myself, "don't wallow in self pity,stick your head outta your a*** and make every moment count". Don't dwell on the hurt, RE-CHANNEL your emotions and you'll be SMILING AGAIN. ENJOY RICK WARREN. “The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:17a NLT) When you’re lonely, you need to focus on others and not yourself. The loneliest person in the world is the guy who's self-centered and wrapped up in himself. God wired us to give our lives away, to help others, to think of others and not just ourselves. If you want to break out of loneliness, stop saying, "I don't have any friends," and start being a friend. Stop focusing on yourself and instead give yourself away. Instead of focusing on yourself, you need to emphasize others' needs. Loneliness is often a fear of love. We're afraid to be open. We’re afraid to be vulnerable. We're afraid to share how we really feel. We're afraid to step out and risk a relationship because we might be rejected, and we know what that pain feels like. When we fear love, we don't give ourselves away, and we're guaranteeing ourselves loneliness. We set ourselves up in a self-imposed prison of solitary confinement that is absolutely unnecessary. Give your life away! When Paul was in prison and about to be executed, he said all his friends had left him, but God was with him. That gave him the strength to reach out to others and complete the work God had given him: “The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear” (2 Timothy 2:17a NLT). The key to overcoming loneliness is to stop building walls and start building bridges. Stop building walls between you and other people. Start building bridges. Take a risk. Begin to help other people. Years ago, Corrie Ten Boom was engaged to be married to a guy who suddenly broke off the engagement and married her best friend. She was devastated. She came home crushed and lonely and isolated. She asked her father, "What do I do with a blocked love?” He said, "Whenever you have a blocked love, re-channel it.” There are thousands of people in the world who need your love. Re-channel it. If you hold it in, it's going to dry up and wither away. You need to find a ministry, a place you can use your talents and gifts to help other people. Give yourself away. When you do that, the loneliness will dissipate. Talk It Over Why is it sometimes easier to hold love in than give it away? Who are the people around you who need your love today? How can you share it with them?
Monday, 4 November 2013
My friend looked as If she had seen a ghost. Well, figuratively speaking, she had seen a ghost-A beautiful ghost! I looked like a page out of a fashion magazine! No wonder my friend kept staring at me with mouth wide open. "Close your mouth before fly enter", I kidded and gently took my sit in her kitchen. "You win lotto?" she asked jokingly as she spun me around to have a better look at my ensemble. I had not won the lotto but just decided to put an effort on how I looked. You see, I am not your regular fashionista but I love fashion. I love the idea of looking good and applaud every woman or man that stands out in a crowd as a result of their daring fashion choices. Most times, I envision myself all clad up in the season's trendy best but alas some of these styles wouldn't suit an ample bosomed lady like moi and that's putting it lightly. As much as I love my clothes and shoes over time I've become slack in looking put together especially during the week when I'm home doing nothing. It’s not unusual to see me dashing about in town in simple jeans or slacks nothing out of the ordinary except with my hair most times in disarray. But I wasn't always like this. There was a time I truly cared about how I looked and made an effort to look on point either at home or when out and about. That day while reaching out for my usual uniform of jeans and jumper, I had an epiphany. I discarded my first choice of clothes and picked something else. Looking back at me in the mirror wasn't the usual slobby mum but a beautiful trendy lady. I looked good on the outside and felt better on the inside. There is something about putting on beautiful clothes that gives a boost to your self esteem especially if you’ve got a healthy dose already. Expectedly, I got a bounce on my feet and loved the stares I got on the street. I felt beautiful. Looking good takes concerted effort and so does success and great relationships. They don’t just happen by wishful thinking. Prolific Minister and writer Joyce Meyer once said the grass looks greener on the other side because it was obviously well watered and pruned! It takes deliberate effort to achieve a beautiful well watered garden. Many people desire the magazine styled lives or relationships that we most times read about in romantic novels and think it’s nigh impossible, I BEG TO DISAGREE. Like my friend Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo of David Christian Centre would say “YOU CAN HAVE THE MARRIAGE OF YOUR DREAMS. If only we can rise off our butt and MAKE AN EFFORT “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Proverb 22:29. You may not feel like it but try anyway. It is always worth it. It may seem difficult but it would be worth it. Look at me! I’m getting compliments like I was sixteen ....lol. P.S Thank God, I made an effort to look fabulous this morning; I met a long time admirer on my way to the groceries store. Like my friend, he stood and stared at me with mouth wide open. The rush I felt was worth the extra effort in front of the mirror!!! SORRY!!!! don't have pictures to upload yet, my phone fell and crashed.Would have a replacement in the next two days. Thank God for insurance.